I am interested in something surgical - possibly orthopedics. My dilemma, however, is that I feel all the effort I give towards my classes won't end up helping me that much because I don't end up scoring the best on exams. They have always been a challenge for me. Now I know that preclinical grades are not all that residencies look for, but is it possible for someone with no honors to do what I'm thinking of? Has anyone heard of this happening?
03-09-2003, 04:02 PM
Every specialty has its ups and downs in terms of competetiveness. Right now, you can certainly get into general surgery without stellar grades, but ortho seems to remain pretty competetive. I think there are ways to "work your way in" by getting to know people in the department, getting good recommendations by doing awesome on your rotation, maybe research to make some connections and let your interest be known as well. Maybe going for the smaller, lesser-known programs is a good approach too.
I say, for now, work as hard as you can, make the best grades you can. And never ever give up on what you want to do. If it turns out that your grades and scores are sub-par, you should still go for what you want, and try to make it happen.
Sometimes people do general surgery residency, then once they get a year or two into it and get known as a super-hard-worker at their program, they might get lucky enough to transfer into an ortho spot if they still want it. I have heard of that happening several times. Don't give up hope, ever.